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INCH LEVELS BY NEIL HEGARTY

PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS
REVIEW BY EMILY MILLS

Inch Levels is an intriguing read. It moves from the moment a crime was committed and steps over and through the lives of those persons closest to the criminal. It challenges the reader to think of the moments in a person’s life that shape their response to a terrible event. In a genre of writing in which usually focuses on the victim or criminal, this is something different.  

The murder of eight-year-old Christine Grey is the catalyst for the exploration of relationships between an adult brother, sister and their mother. The brother, Patrick, is a teacher now dying of cancer. His sister Margaret and mother Sarah visit him in hospital. Their thoughts on how their lives came to this point take the reader back to the significant moments that shaped who each of them have become. As a reader, I felt for them in their personal hardships and hoped for better in their future. Of course, it all made me wonder about the murder of Christine and how it could all possibly resolve in a way befitting for these characters.

The author Mr Neil Hegarty is elegant in his exploration of the murder and what it means to those around the murderer. He does not denigrate the murder victim by revealing awful things about her, nor does he make the murder particularly gruesome. Instead, Mr Hegarty shows the reader how a murder came to happen and the continuous effect of such a terrible event.

Mr Hegarty’s story telling is an example of the art of reveal. He uses the ordinary and extraordinary events in the lives of the characters to explain why they react in their particular way to the crime and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. 

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.